Museums in Sri Lanka

1. National Museum , Colombo(Closed on Fridays)

Situated in Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 7. It is the first public museum to be established in Sri Lanka (1877). Best known for its collection of antiques and objects displaying the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka , including national treasures and artefacts from all parts of the island. A section of the first floor houses the Puppetry and Children's Museum. It also houses a library with a collection of about 500,000 books, and more than 4,000 ancient palm leaf manuscripts.

(Tel : 2697467-8)

2. National Museum Of Natural History(Closed on Fridays)

Situated in the same premise as the national museum, it is also accessible from Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7. Displays the Natural Heritage of Sri Lanka . Fauna are displayed in dioramas, and there are sections on applied botany, geology and fossils and the natural environment. In the Discovery Room one finds the mounted skeleton of an elephant and a scale model in relief showing the topography of a part of Sri Lanka .

(Tel: 2694767-8)

3. The Dutch Period Museum(Closed on Fridays)

Situated at Kumara Weediya, Pettah, Colombo11, the old "Dutch House" in Prince Street , Pettah, which houses this museum was built in the latter part of the 17th century. It was the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow. Today, the sides of the streets are filled with boutiques and stores of traders. The building embodies the unique architectural features of a colonial Dutch town house. The museum which displays the Dutch legacy with artefact - viz. furniture, ceramics, coins, arms, etc. - portrays facets of contemporary life and culture.

(Tel: 2448466)

4. Kandy National Museum(Closed on Fridays & Saturdays)

Situated behind the Temple of the Tooth, in a building of historical and architectural interest. Its collections are all of the Kandyan period in the 17th-18th Century.

(Tel: 08 223867 )

5. Ratnapura Museum(Closed on Thursdays & Fridays)

The national museum, Ratnapura, is housed in the famous Ehelapola Walauwa, on the Colombo Road in Ratnapura. The museum displays the prehistory of Sri Lanka famous for gems, the process of gem-mining is displayed through a model. Some of the artefacts displayed here reflect the unique arts and culture of the Sabaragamuwa Province .

(Tel: 045 22451 )

6. Anuradhapura Folk Museum(Closed on Thursdays & Fridays)

The Folk Museum is in the sacred city close to the Archaeological Museum . It houses a collection of artefacts which illustrate the rural life of the North Central Province .

(Tel: 025 22589 )

7. Galle National Museum(Closed on Sundays & Mondays)

Within the Fort of Galle, in a Dutch Colonial building in Church street , is the Cultural Museum adjoining the New Oriental Hotel. Its artefacts reflect the culture of the Southern Province.

(Tel: 09 32051 )

8. The National Maritime Museum, Galle(Closed on Fridays & Saturdays)

Located within the Galle Fort in a colonial Dutch warehouse with imposing pillars, this museum displays the fauna and flora of the sea and the environment. Artefacts consist of preserved material and scale models of whales and fish.

(Tel: 09 42261 )

9. Bandaranaike Museum

BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall) houses memorabilia of Mr. S.W.R.D.Bandaranike, Prime Minister, assassinated in 1956. Admission: Adults Rs. 2/-, Children Rs. 1/- Photography permitted. Guides free of Charge.

(Tel: 2691131, 2686421)

10. Jayawardane Cultural Centre

Archives and Library situated at 191, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7, houses many valuable books inherited as "family treasure" by late President J.R.Jayawardena and priceless gifts received by him from many heads of States during his distinguished career.

11. Maligawa Museum

Centuries old articles given to Sri Dalada Maligawa by kinds, nobles and other devotees have been put on display in a well laid out museum within the precincts of the Maligawa Museum.The two upper levels of the building at the back of the shrine house of this museum where rare ola manuscripts, Royal apparel, life size models of the lost King and Queen of Kandy, variety of antiquities and ornaments, ritual objects can be seen.

12. Monument To Rajah (Former Maligawa Tusker)

To the North of the Maligawa complex facing Natha Devale is the mausoleum of Rajaa, the most devout servant of the Maligawa. Rajah, the Maligawa tusker that carried the relic casket in the annual Esala perahera for 50 year from 1937 to 1987 died in 1988. But the majestic tusker still stands gracefully in still life inside the building with an extended lease of life given by local taxidermists brining nostalgic memories to those who have seen it carrying the caske in the perahera. Visit to the mausoleum is a tribute paid to the dead tusker.

13. Koggala Folk Musuem

Koggala Folk Museum presents a rare collection of folk implements and appliances from different parts of the Island. The items are arranged under twenty five different categories representing handicrafts, folk art and music, cottage industries, agriculture, folk medicines, costumes, religion etc. this museum created at a tribute of Martin Wickramasinghe, the doyen of Sinhala writers is Ginpathaliya in Koggala, the birthplace of the late writer that had once been the playing field of your Wickramasinghe.

14. Archaeological Museum

The Department of Archaeology maintains archaeological museums at Anuradhapura , Kandy , Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna , Panduwasnuwara, Ampara, Yapahuwa and Dedigama. Open on all days except Tuesday from0800 hrs to 17000 hrs.

Publications on respective archaeological sites are available on sale.

Photography: Permitted from Commissioner of Archaeology, Dept. f Archaeology. Sir Marcus Fernando Mw, Colombo 7

(Tel: 694727)

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